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Lens Reviews

The 105mm f/2.8G ED IF AF-S VR Micro Nikkor Review

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

Keywords: micro, makro, 105mm, nikkor, lenses, nikon, pma, bokeh

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The 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor lens has long been a classic choice for 35mm film macro, close-up and even portrait photography. On DX format (APS-C) digital cameras it further expanded its preference among Nikonians. In February 2006, Nikon announced its engineers had further enhanced it. This announcement was just in time for the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) International Show. We had an opportunity to try it at the show in Orlando, Florida. "Further enhanced" turned out to be quite an understatement.

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105mm f/2.8G IF AF-S VR Micro Nikkor lens



"Sorry for interrupting. Could I try out the new 105mm VR lens on my camera?"

After ungluing his eyes from my Nikonians cap, the demonstrator at the huge Nikon stand counter replied: "Yes", with a huge smile in his face.

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"And let me assist you in your test." He handed the lens to me and extracted from his pocket a one dollar legal tender note of the Federal Reserve of the United States of America to hold in front on my camera.

Nikon D2X, 1/100 sec, f/3.2, ISO 250, Center-Weighted metering, SB-800 on i-TTL.


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"Now, go for full 1:1 macro"

Nikon D2X, 1/60 sec, f/4.8, ISO 250, Center-Weighted metering, SB-800 on i-TTL, lens switched to manual.


I said "Thank you" after chimping and quickly left for our own booth. Somebody else at the counter said "Man! That was quick!" The attendant: "These Nikonians really know what they are doing". "Good salesman" was my thought.

Back home, I found this to be the upper left corner of the wrinkled bill. It shows splendid resolution and contrast, even when handheld and not so perpendicular to the sensor plane.

You may click on any of the unretouched images for an enlarged view.

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(4 Votes )
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Originally written on November 13, 2012

Last updated on January 26, 2021

J. Ramon Palacios J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

San Pedro Garza García, Mexico
Admin, 46140 posts


User on June 3, 2014

The Nikon 105 is actually a f2.8 however only at distances 10ft and over. As with most macro lenses the closer you focus the more your light drops off and you 2.8 becomes less. At 1:1 you will be around f4 or f4.8. That is the way the lenses work to focus so close. So it isn't a constant f2.8 lens except for portrait work and such. Doesn't matter if you use Tokina, Sigma, Tamron or any such macro...all the same.

User on June 3, 2014

I studied, reviewed, searched out and tried the Sigma 105mm 2.8 OS macro Tokina 100mm f2.8Macro and the Nikon 105mm f2.8 VR. I have the Tokina 11-16 F2.8 and quite like the lens so leaned that way a lot especially when you see the price. After much soul searching I paid the price and got the Nikon 105. I am very pleased with the lens and feel it is worth the extra price for excellent build quality, VR and internal focusing. The other item is the Nikon lenses always work with future Nikon Cameras without any problems. Third party lenses may not. I am very pleased with the photos I m getting from this lens and am learning to use it more each day. It has become one of my favorite lenses in my bag.

Marcelo Paganucci (mpaganuc) on November 21, 2013

Hi, i have this lens and really outstanding, but i have one question, the max. aperture in my D3s is F 3.0 and not F2.8 is that right?

User on May 21, 2013

Awesome Ruda blossom image, sir! I'm researching the Micro Nikkors, as I may want to start out with either the 40 or the 60...(I don't do insects, so not overly concerned with close focus distance...just sharpness.) Thanks again! Steve

Rick Jobson (Rickjobson) on January 9, 2013

Have just bought the 105 .....first few pics, simply brilliant. Big step up from my old 60mm micro and 55mm manual macro lens.

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